On Saturday, April 8 at 10:00am at the Marana Regional Airport, the Marine Corps League Nighthawk 72 will host the 17th Anniversary Memorial Service.
A devastating tragedy occurred on the night of April 8, 2000, when an Air Force training mission went awry and an Osprey aircraft crashed at the Marana Regional Airport killing all 19 Marines on board. The investigation into the accident took over a year, but finally the survivors were able to have some closure during a memorial service near the site of the crash.
The Town Council and staff came together to erect a flagpole flying the U.S. flag, the Arizona State Flag, and the Marine Corps flag at the memorial site along with a plaque with the names and ranks of each serviceman. Many federal, state and local officials were on hand to honor these brave men. A memorial service has been held each year since then, and the local Marine Corps league, named Nighthawk 72 in honor of the fallen aircraft, have added memorial artifacts over the years dedicated to keeping the memory of the event alive, never to be forgotten by the families and friends.
Plans are being made to expand the site to include a memorial garden as well as an area to recognize the service of all military men and women who served to keep our country free. It is hoped that by 2019, the families and friends and local residents who have adopted this memorial as their own will be able to hold their service under a new flagpole and among the shade trees of the new gardens.